Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

at Livingston Gymnasium indoor track of
Denison University
November 6, 7, & 8, 1969

Presented by the Denison Campus Government Association, the Racoon Creek Rock Festival was one of the smaller festivals of 1969, but a festival nonetheless.  Held indoors at the school’s Livingston Gymnasium indoor track (it was November and it was Ohio, after all).

This is one of those festivals about which not much is known. I’ve tried to contact the Denison newspaper, but received no response. I did find a school newspaper edition from just before the event. It’s humorous to me how the article’s headline described the event as featuring “Six Name Groups.”

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon v Racoon

It’s also interesting to me that the newspaper spells Raccoon with the two “c”s as it is normally spelled, but I find several spots where the second “c” is omitted. 

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival


Raccoon Creek Rock Festival


The newspaper article also fails to say specifically who would play on Friday, yet one of the posters does specify.

The Who and Owen B were scheduled for Thursday. The article also notes that “The English group has produced many hit singles including “Magic Bus,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “I’m Free.”

The article then states that The Spirit (I have only seen them referred to as simply Spirit) and The Dust (ditto) would play on Saturday.  The day is a typo and should read Friday as the article continues and states that Johnny Winter, Lycidas, and The Dust would appear on Saturday (also) to complete the 3-day festival.

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Johnny “Everywhere” Winter

Winter, it is noted, “performs a variety of interpretations of black vernacular and a wide range of black instrumental approaches.”

Good to know.

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival


The writer seems to be somewhat unfamiliar with the line-up, but has the same worries expressed by all who would be in the range of a 1969 festival. After mentioning that there had been outside interest in the event (“as far away as upstate New York”) they go on to say: “We’re expecting to turn people away, but we hope the Denison campus will still be one peaceful community during the festival.”

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Great price points

The Who on Thursday cost a ticket-buyer $3.50. The lesser known Spirit only $2.50, but back up a touch for Johnny Winter’s Saturday appearance to $3.00. Student could purchase all three nights for $8.00, a savings of $1.

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Looking for more

If anyone else (beside Jim Sacket below) has any information about the festival, I’d love to hear from you.

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival
Please follow and like us:

8 thoughts on “Raccoon Creek Rock Festival”

  1. The Who:
    Raccoon Creek Rock Festival, Livingston Gymnasium Indoor Track, Denison University
    Granville Ohio. (November 6, 1969).
    They went on to play at Athens on the 7th then St. Louis on the 8th the next two days.
    The source was listed as the history of Johnny Winter:
    I can reduce and copy over the poster but I can’t move it/copy to your site etc.
    Haven’t been able to find anything else yet.

  2. Was a Freshman at Denison that year before flunking out in December and almost ending up in ‘Nam. Attended all 3 days, and details are foggy from time and too much 3.2 beer, but remembering sitting on dirt floor of field house. Sat right in front of the Who; couldn’t hear for days!! Remember Spirit’s bald drummer, older gent. Remembering Johnny Winter as a manic guitar player; non stop boogie and loud!! Pretty amazing concert for small college!! Was at Pocono Rock Festival in ’72 (?) if you need further info on that.

  3. My roommate was co-social director for Denison that year. We had something like a $24k budget for the year and blew it all on one weekend. Something like 4 or 5 even 6 bands each night – including local DU band who got to play Santana tunes in front of a MAJOR crowd (and they WERE good! – biggest gig of their career). Held in a tin quansut hut indoor track – yes with dirt floor – but only the musicians complained of sound quality – we were oblivious. Who was free on that Thurs nite on their initial Tommy Tour and we got them at a discount – $4,600. In the end the weekend broke even – losing $100 – less than a keg party would’ve cost. Someone can calculate approx attendance. Townsend played with 102 fever but you wouldn’t have known it (from the mosh pit – which didn’t have that label at the time). Daltry was in his fringe vest bare chest days. Set list around Tommy is well known from many ’69 live recordings released since. After party at local HoJo’s Roger stayed behind with Pete, but Ent and Moonie found the school party room at the hotel and stayed til nearly dawn. John was one of the most normal down-to-earth guys you’d want to meet. Spirit arrived for their Fri nite gig and popped into the hotel doorway – five heads one above the next – announcing arrival in 5-part harmony. Randy California and entourage. They were big at the time with Nature’s Way among other hits from first two albums. What went on in Moonie’s room AFTER the party broke up – stays in Hojo’s! Never met Johnny Winter but “JW And” was a hot album in ’69… R&R Hoochie Coo – with Rick Derringer also on guitar (formerly w/ the McCoys). I DO remember the football coach was really upset with so many long-hairs camping outside his office doors in the indoor track for the 3 days… we attracted a good crowd (numbers unknown by me) from all over Great Lakes region. We had radio ads playing in Cleveland and WLS in Chicago prior to the show. I still have my 3 tickets stashed in a “been there/heard that” box. Raccoon spelled with 2 C’s – on the ticket – was the creek that runs through Granville Ohio. We had to call it SOMETHING different! After almost 50 years I have to agree with previous writer – other details get hazy. But then it was hazy even then! But no on inhaled…

    1. THANK YOU for your memories. There isn’t much about the event (at least as far as I’ve been able to find). I tried to contact the school newspaper asking whether they had back issue articles about the event (before and/or after). but never got a reply.

      1. Don’t know where you’d actually find the full band list at this stage. Nothing that finite in the 1970 yearbook. And with paper to digital evolution it’s no surprise a student newspaper wouldn’t have 1969 archives. Probably 15 to 18 groups total played across the 3 nights – many regional Ohio/Midwest groups and groups known personally by key students in the planning group, with the 5 or 6 you’ve noted topping the bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.